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Surviving the school holidays – Perfection is not required

Eight arms would be delightful!

Ever feel like a less than perfect mother? I know I do.

Some days I feel like I don’t quite measure up. Some days I raise my voice too quickly, I can’t seem to clean or organise the house, the kids are bugging me and I’m running around in circles achieving nothing. Please tell me I’m not alone?

When I feel like this I need to take a huge step back from my reality. I need a little time alone to regroup. Then I can try to be a loving mum again.

There’s something about parenting that makes a person constantly compare and can make me feel like I fall short. Every image around me is telling me how blissfully easy-going family life is. Mothers are baking cakes, laughing throughout and delighting in the magical moments they are creating. Then the next hour they are cycling around town with the kids, picking up groceries and stopping into a cafe for milkshakes. After all that they still find the energy to clean the bathrooms, mop the floors and put on three loads of washing,  smiling throughout of course! A multi-tasking, productive but ultimately cheerful mother seems to be the favoured image. Umm I struggle to get dressed and  just do the dishes some days!

It’s the school holidays. I am trying desperately to remain calm. There is heavy expectation on the air. I am supposed to entertain during the holidays. Kids nowadays have come to expect days out to over crowded, over priced establishments.It has become the social norm among the working and middle classes. I have to take them to at least something but somehow have to muster up the energy, the dosh and mental enthusiasm. 

Some time ago I concluded that it is okay to just let the kids play. It is okay for the kids to feel a little bored. It is also totally okay to not plan every day of their life for them.  I have to remind myself of these logical and comforting thoughts when my guilty feelings creep up on me. This week I can reject the role of chief events organiser if I want to. I can cut myself some slack. The kids can use their imaginations. They can entertain themselves and mum can have a rest. And most importantly mum should give herself a break before she finds herself hugging herself and rocking herself in a corner!


About Alana Munro

Writer. Mama to three, wife to one. Red wine consumer.


2 thoughts on “Surviving the school holidays – Perfection is not required

  1. Awww babe, totally know this feeling. Remember the image we show to the ‘world’ is usually vastly different to the reality. I may look like superwoman for doing Dane’s cake (probably stupid is more like it!) but know that the dishes from Friday night’s dinner only got done today (Sunday!!!!). And the washing was only done coz nobody had any undies left!

    So today while I feel like I achieved something, I still look at my house, with a hallway that you can now actually walk down without tripping over anything coz I picked all the crap up, and think about the lovely lady across the road who has two kids around the same age as mine, yet has a showcase home whenever we pop in unannounced 🙂 That’s life, we all do what we can, and everything else can just be left, that’s my motto. And if what I can do is less than what someone else can do? Well so be it.

    You are an awesome mum, your beautiful boys are testament to that xxx

    Posted by Danielle | April 17, 2011, 9:58 pm

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